International Association of Physical Therapists in Animal Practice (IAPTAP)

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About the network

The International Association of Physical Therapists in Animal Practice is a network affiliated to World Physiotherapy.

There is a long history of physiotherapy in the treatment of animals. A book on physiotherapy for horses, written by the physiotherapist Sir Charles Strong, was published in 1967. Several other textbooks have been published on this topic over the years.

Although entry level physiotherapy education does not include examination, evaluation, assessment, and treatment of animals, physiotherapists in several countries have been leaders in the development of specialised educational programmes in the rehabilitation of animals. Many have groups for physiotherapists in animal practice recognised by their national professional associations. These groups have been instrumental in establishing five international symposia on rehabilitation and physiotherapy for animals since 1999.

There are regulatory and scope of practice issues that must be overcome in many countries in order for practice with animals to become established as an area of specialisation for licensed physiotherapists.